Born at the turn of the 20th century, Mae Strickland is only a few days old when her mother suddenly dies. Her aunt Maggie brings Mae up together with her own children, Eddie and Alice, and the girls become like sisters. In spite of Mae's unhappy start, life feels full of promise. Then, as the First World War looms, everything changes. While the local men -- including young Eddie -- leave to fight, Mae and Alice train as field nurses. As they travel to the front line in the wake of family tragedy, nothing can prepare them for the hardship that lies ahead.